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Fast Forward Your Future

Spotless Social Media: Cleaning Up Your E-Presence

Posted by Christopher LeBlanc on Jul 21, 2016 11:04:21 AM

Now that you’ve graduated, or you’re getting close, you’re beginning your first foray into the competitive career marketplace. It’s time to update that resume, brush up on your interviewing skills, and—perhaps most importantly—clean up your social media accounts.

Photo courtesy of CreativeCommons.

Each year more employers rely on social media to get a good idea of the kind of the candidate’s personality. What they see on your profile can mean the difference between your dream job, and a continued job search from your parent’s couch.

While in college you may have gotten a lot of “likes” and “shares” on your Spring Break 2014 Instagram posts, those same photos could sabotage your chance at landing a good job.

To help out, we have compiled 6 tips on how you should clean up your social media presence before you start your job search.

1. Don’t underestimate the importance of a respectable social media presence.

Web presence can often seem a bit trivial. But if you think employers won’t look at, and judge, your social media accounts, you’re wrong.

According to employment resource websites like themuse.com, nearly one in three employers say they have rejected candidates based on something they found unsavory on social media accounts. Employers often use the information from your social media posts and pictures to append their background checks in order to get a more robust view of who you are as a person.

2. Google yourself. 

The first thing you’ll want to do before you start your search is to Google yourself. It may sound vain to look yourself up on the web. But this is the first thing potential employers will do as well.

Scroll through the search results and Google images. If you have any results or photos that aren’t PG rated, take them down immediately.

3. Clean up those photos.

A lot of people, myself included, use social media sites like Facebook and Instagram as a sort of e-photo albums. While this seems innocuous, you’ll need to either delete or adjust the privacy settings on any photo that may be construed as suggestive or inflammatory.

CareerBuilder.com released a list of social networking do's and don'ts in 2014. According to the list, potential employers cite “provocative or inappropriate photographs,” photos or information about drinking (even if you’re above 21) and drugs, and discriminatory comments or images as reasons they eliminated candidates from consideration.

4. Pay attention to content and grammar in status updates.

We all have bad days. And there are few more immediately cathartic actions that posting a strongly worded rant on Facebook about how a fellow commuter spilled lukewarm coffee down your arm on the subway. However, potential employers will look at those e-outbursts as a reflection of your personality.

Photo courtesy of CreativeCommons.

In 2014, job recruiting service Jobvite released a survey that aggregates the practices and opinions of dozens of employers.

Aside from the obvious no-no’s (like badmouthing your employer, posting sexually explicit imagery or information, and posting about illegal drugs), the study also found that 66 percent of employers view poor social media grammar as a turnoff in the hiring process.

5. Make sure you have a strong profile picture.

The next time you get the urge to set your favorite game of thrones character or the newest iteration of your “duck-face” as your profile picture, resist. Since your profile picture is the first (and possibly only) image potential employers see on your page, you need to make sure it makes a positive statement about who you are. 

Photo courtesy of CreativeCommons.

According to TheMuse’s section on "profile picture sins", stay away from default images (it looks lazy), photos that aren’t you (it damages your brand), and distasteful or inappropriate images (duh).

6. Polish your halo.

While we’ve established that your web presence can go a long way to hurt you on your job hunt, it can also be a boon to your chances.

According to the CareerBuilder survey linked above, if you post career accolades and convey a professional and personable image, your chances of being hired are increased. Further, posting about charitable works and community involvement are also positive signs to wary employers.

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Topics: Boston DAPS, Online DAPS, Professional Student Posts, Day Student Posts

Fisher College DAPS

Division of Accelerated & Professional Studies

Fisher College first opened its doors in 1903 in the predominantly working-class city of Somerville, Massachusetts, just two miles north of Boston. The school was founded on the belief that the immigrants of that city should have an opportunity to advance beyond unskilled labor jobs.

The Division of Accelerated and Professional Studies was established in 1975 to serve the adult population of Eastern Massachusetts, with branch locations in:

  • Boston
  • Brockton
  • North Attleborough
  • New Bedford

The Fisher Online division began in 1998, and currently serves students from all over the United States and around the world.

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